Discourse Matters: A New Blog Series

Discourse matters.


The way you made sense of that last sentence is a matter of interpretation. It depends on a number of things, such as the expectations you bring to this blog and, more specifically, this post. 

Do you think I am asserting a fact?

“Discourse [is something that] matters.”

Perhaps — but what if the punctuation changed?

“Discourse matters: …”

From this, maybe you would expect an excursus on matters relating to discourse?

As it happens, this was my original intention. I’ve written a number of posts all related to central ideas of discourse grammar and tried to explain them with examples in an accessible format for someone who is interested in seeing how these principles are fleshed out in Koine Greek.

So while the original meaning I intended by the phrase “Discourse matters” was “matters relating to discourse,” I’ve decided to exploit the ambiguity — because at the same time that I’ll be trying to explain some of the principles and features of discourse grammar, I also hope to be demonstrating to you that discourse does in fact matter.

So if you’re curious to learn more about discourse grammar, feel free to read along and pick up the puzzle pieces as they come. If you’re already acquainted but not on a first name basis, maybe Runge’s introduction is a better resource to sink your teeth into. And if you’ve gnawed on Runge for a while, maybe it’s time for (the free resources) offered by Levinsohn. Beyond that, you probably don’t need my advice on who to read.


Each post will target a single discourse feature with a single example. The corpus I'll be drawing from includes the Greek New Testament, but will extend into the Septuagint as well (and Apostolic Fathers?). Why discriminate?

No doubt, discourse grammar gets tricky at times, but I'm confident you'll be able to follow along and come away with a deeper appreciation for the way language works, and more specifically, why ancient Greek authors might have said this instead of that.

So read on to learn more about why discourse matters as I talk through a constellation of discourse matters.